Thursday, January 25, 2018

Anjana Vasan -- Too Dark For Country

Anjana Vasan's bold EP Too Dark For Country bears a double entendre. The songs here, like most good country songs, are not particularly buoyant (though "Key Lime Pie" is delectable). But the London-by-way-of-Singapore singer-songwriter addresses the near-constant racism she endures in the title's second song, "Outsider Blues." This is Vasan's first release and she's not interested in making herself palatable.

"Oh Sister" reminds us not to fall into the traps that traditional, patriarchal notions of romance have created for us. Having been phone-less for almost a week, I've overheard some truly troubling conversations on the train (either because the dude involved is a piece of shit or we all just assume that most people are too absorbed in their phones to pay attention.) We can all do better. The closer, "The Ballad of Richard Morgan (Song For Bessie Smith)" honors Smith's legacy and her common law marriage husband. Vasan has the pipes to pay her tribute. If I had one complaint about the EP, it's that it's too short by 6 - 8 songs. I'm hoping 2018 brings us more music from this incisive and confident musician.

Anjana Vasan -- Instagram, Bandcamp

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